Russian skydiving plane crashes, killing at least 16

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A skydiving plane crashed near an airstrip in the Russian region of Tatarstan on Sunday, killing at least 16 people, the Civil Defence Ministry said.

More than 20 people were on board the L-410 twin-engine plane when it went down shortly after takeoff near the city of Menzelinsk.

Russian news agencies said six people survived the crash of the light aircraft.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov offered his condolences to the victims’ families and ordered a day of mourning on Monday.

He said the pilots had reported shortly after takeoff that an engine had failed and that they were going to try and make an emergency landing.

The crash site was about 290 kilometres east of the republic’s capital, Kazan, in western Russia.

The exact number of people on board has been variously given as 22 or 23, two of whom were the pilots.

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